Freedom Book Fair – Freedom of speech versus Hate Speech

fb-event-cover-photo-free-speech-vs-hate-speechThe opening event of our The Hague Freedom Book Fair 2017 is a debate on “Freedom of speech versus Hate Speech”, two values that challenges each other. Laterly, more and more often, the contradiction seemed to cause problems. Time to take a closer look at these two important anchor stones in the Dutch society. What do they mean to us, and to people in other countries?

Freedom of speech has been misused in order to marginalize minorities. At the same time, for example in Bangladesh, voices of critical bloggers and writers are cilenced because of the accusation of hate speech. How can we keep societies healthy and democratic?her

Where: Nutshuis, Riviervismarkt 5, Den Haag
When: Saturday 24 February
What time: 7 Pm – 9 PM

Entrance is free, but registration is required.

This event will take place at the NUtshuis, Riviervismarkt 5, Den Haag, from 7pm to 9pm.

Check the website for more information

Freedom Book Fair – Freedom of Expression in Turkey 25 February


The discussion “Freedom of Expression in Turkey; Challenges for Dialogue and Peace” is part of The Hague Freedom Book Fair 2017.

In the light of the recent events in Turkey there will be discussion over journalistic freedom (for example censorship, arrests and foreclosures, public humiliation and intimidation etc.) and democratic liberties (for example parliamentary impunity, martial law and military etc). The recent arrest of Hüda Kaya, one of our speakers, illustrates the necessity of addressing these topics.

The introduction will be made by Bedel Baryak and Tayfun Balcik who are the project coordinators of the Kurdish – Turkish program ran by The Hague Peace Projects.

The discussion panel consists of:

– Uğur Üngör, a historian who teaches at the Department of History at Utrecht University. He gained his Ph.D in 2009 (cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam (dissertation: Young Turk Social Engineering: Mass Violence and the Nation State in Eastern Turkey, 1913-1950). As a scholar he mainly focuses on mass violence and nationalism. During this event he will discuss the developments in Turkey with regards to freedom of expression from a historical perspective.

– Hüda Kaya, a writer, civil rights activist and a member of the parliament for the pro-minority political party HDP. She grew up in Istanbul, but later moved to Malatya, A predominantly Kurdish province. Once there, her opinion of the Kurds changed drastically, she decided to stay and opened up a shop. In her time in Malatya she becomes more active as Muslim-feminist. Following the ‘post-modern coup’ on 28th of February 1997, which precipitated the resignation of Islamist prime minister Necmettin Erbakan of the Welfare Party, she gets arrested for demonstrating against the ban on the headscarve and her writings.
In 1999 she gets arrested for a second time in the aftermath of protest, violently beaten down by anti-terror forces. Her three daughters (16,17 and 18) who have also partaken in the non-violent protests, are abducted from school by the anti-terror forces. Hüda Kaya stayed in jail for three years. When the central-Islamic AKP came into power she had high hopes that many of the inhuman policies would be changed. But in time she was disillusioned by the increasing repressive rhetoric and actions of the government.

– Muhammed Cihad Ebrari is a researcher at SAMER (Political and Social Research Centre) and human rights activist affiliated with the
‘anti-capitalist Muslims’, also known as the ‘Muslim left’. In a recent protest against arrests of politicians he was beaten by the police and was injured severely.

– Marloes de Koning, a journalist for the Dutch paper NRC. She worked for three years in Turkey as correspondent and returned in 2016 to The Netherlands.

– Ragip Zarakolu – A Turkish writer and publisher, Nobel Prize nominee (2012) and iconic advocate for the freedom to publish and write in Turkey and beyond. In spite of 40 years of censorship, harassment, death threats and imprisonments by the Turkish authorities and far right groups, Zarakolu has never given up his fight for freedom of thought and the necessity of minorities right to be heard.

You are very welcome to join the discussion! Entrance is free, but registration is required.

Invite your friends to this event

International Uganda Convention in The Hague

uganda-convention-eventbriteThe Uganda Diaspora, The Hague Peace Projects and other organizations, are organizing an “International Conference on Uganda” scheduled from 23rd- 26th February 2017 in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The three days’ convention aims at arriving at a consensus on the roadmap for a; United, Decisive Constitutional Reforms, Electoral Reforms, the Peaceful transition of power in Uganda, and vulnerable minorities.

The three days’ convention will bring together stakeholders in the political, social and economic development of Uganda e.g. but not limited to members of the ruling government party, opposition leaders, Members of Parliament (MPs), Representative from Uganda’s: Judiciary, Civic Society Organizations (CSOs), Religious Leaders, Cultural Leaders who form the nexus of Uganda’s peace, stability and development.

In addition, we have invited distinguished international, local and Diaspora based pro-democracy and pro-human rights intelligentsia as well as a representative from International Criminal Court (ICC) European Union (EU) the Dutch government. and Uganda’s strategic development partners.

Under the Conference theme the following shall be the main areas of discussion:

  1. The Role and Unity of the pro-democracy and good governance activists (tools of change – drivers of change)
  2. Consensus on the benchmarks for sustainable political stability and democracy.
  3. Consensus on whether Uganda is a democracy or the country needs political reforms and free and fair elections
  4. The Role of Uganda Diaspora Uganda’s in the Political, social and economic development of Uganda Diaspora in the development of democracy and good governance in Uganda with particular emphasis on the Uganda Diaspora Right to vote and direct representatives in the Uganda Parliament.
  5. The Ruwenzori Crisis; focusing on prevention of genocide, military conflicts and demilitarising Uganda’s politics once and for all.
  6. Uganda’s strategic role to stability in the Great Lakes and IGAAD and Great Regions.
  7. The human rights situation in Uganda with particular emphasis on the right to choose leaders in free and fair elections, freedom of assembly and demonstration.
  8. Good governance. Zero tolerance for corruption and abuse of public resources and affairs, a sound and steady economic growth with clear agenda.

Your knowledge, experience and expertise in one of the discussions prescribed above will add great value to the objectives of the issue and results convention!

You are free to mention or name which topic in relation to the theme you will prefer to discuss and how much time your presentation take.

We look forward to your confirmation of participation and guidance.

Charity Event: Open Mic Stand-Up Comedy – Amateur’s Nights

On the 22nd of February, the Hague Peace Projects in collaboration with the Paard Cafe are launching a series of events encouraging amateur comedians to perform live, in English and make their debut in the stand up world!

All aspiring participants are encouraged to reach out to us using the e-mail link below, where they can be provided with a more detailed description of what they can expect. The theme of the night is entirely up to the performers to decide, although, do note that all of the acts should be performed in English.
Entrance is free for performers!

For the audience, the doors open and the drinks start flowing at 19.00.
Entrance fee is 4€
Café Het Paard, Prinsegracht 10 The Hague
22nd of February

All proceeds go to charity, if you would like to know more about the Hague Peace Projects, take a look at our Facebook page at: The Hague Peace Projects

Wanna give it a shot? send an e-mail at:


The Hague Freedom Book Fair

From February 24 to February 27, We are going to host ‘The Hague Freedom Book Fair 2017’ at the Nutshuis, The Hague; with participation from publishers from different parts of the world. There will also be panel discussions on freedom of expression in Bangladesh, freedom of expression in regarding LGBT movements in the muslim world, and also on overall situation of freedom of expression around the world.

The Hague Peace Projects, Mukto-Mona and other international organizations hosted a book fair in February 2016 at Humanity House in The Hague titled ‘Bangladesh Alternative Book Fair’ in memory of Avijit Roy and other Bangladeshi writers and free thinkers who got killed in 2015 and in solidarity with the persecuted and exiled Bangladeshi writers who were unable to be present in the Ekushey Book Fair in Bangladesh. “The Hague Freedom Book Fair” is a continuation of that event.

Date Events Time
24/02/2017 Discussion: Freedom of speech versus Hate Speech; Where the world is heading to. 7-9 pm
Somalian Poetry Night. 9-11 pm
25/02/2017 Discussion: Freedom of Exrpession in Turkey; Challenges for dialogue and peace.  

2-5 pm

Discussion: LGBT Freedom in the Muslim Community; obstacles and possibilities.Documentary:  LGBT freedom in Indonesia. 7-9 Pm
26/02/1017 Discussion: Voice of dissents; persecuted  non-religiosity and threatened religious diversity in Bangladesh.

Documentary: Razors Age

Candle Lighting: In memory of Avijit Roy and other slain Bangladeshi writers/publishers/editors.

3-5.30 Pm
27/02/2017 Discussion on Freedom of expression, Dialogue and conflict resolution in Bangladesh  

6.30-8.30 pm

Supporting Sundarbans Solidarity in Netherlands

The world’s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, is under threat of destruction and pollution. Men’s ever growing hunger for energy and industry has led the Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company (BIFPC) to construct a massive coal power plant, just 14 kilometers from this UNESCO world heritage site – home to the last populations of the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger. One can only imagine the risk and potential devastation such a fossil fuel consuming plant will have. Further, apart from a devastating impact on nature, the forest also is a natural defense for the fragile Bengal delta against cyclones and tsunamis.

We cannot remain silent in the face of such irresponsible and barbaric behavior. On the 19th of November also HPP members voiced their discontent; despite rain and cold they showed their indignation and protest during the Sundarbans Solidarity Cycle from Haarlem to Amsterdam. And again, on the 7th of January HPP members participated in the protest in front of the Peace Palace in The Hague, to put this injustice under the attention of the International Court of Justice.

This is not the end of our protest. In the face of global warming and the unequal burden of climate change that is placed on Bangladesh, it is time to demonstrate our united strength to coal conglomerates and corrupted governments. The threat against the Sundarbans is both very real and also a symbol – this is exactly when the world should leave fossil fuels and focus on renewable energy.

Please follow us and keep up to date on opportunities for you to support our voice against the Bangladeshi government’s choice for outdated and polluting energy forms, and in support of protecting the Sundarbans.

Film & Discussion: A Flood in Ba’ath Country

hobran_dam_damA Flood in Ba’ath Country (2003, Omar Amiralay)

In 1970, Omar Amiralay made a short documentary praising the Baath party’s project to build an impressive system of dams, which were subsequently revealed to contain fatal construction flaws. Thirty years later, in A Flood in Baath Country, Amiralay turns that hidden weakness into a potent metaphor for the corroding effects of 35 years of Baathist rule on the people of al-Mashi, a village 400 kilometres northeast of Damascus. As the camera patiently observes students, teachers and local government officials as they recite by rote the exact same praise for the president and slogans glorifying the party, the film coalesces into a devastating indictment of the Baathist regime.

The movie will be with English subtitles.

After the movie we will have a small discussion with some of our Syrian group members. Everyone is welcome!
When: Thursday 16 February
What time: 5 pm – 6:30 pm
Where: Paviljoensgracht 20, Den Haag
Want to bring friends? Invite them here!